Author Topic: Good projects for beginners?  (Read 3974 times)

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Offline mkpak93

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Good projects for beginners?
« on: December 23, 2013, 05:42:56 am »
hey guys, I was wondering what kind of projects would be good for a beginner hobbyist? I have already converted an ATX Power supply to lab bench one, so what would you see as the next step? I was thinking a function generator maybe? one that outputs sine, square. and triangle wave?

Thanks :)
 

Offline Maximus

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Re: Good projects for beginners?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2013, 07:04:54 am »
There is the classic "make an LED blink".  Blinking LEDs are to electronics as Hello World is to programming. There must be 10 or so different ways to get an LED to blink, maybe try a 555 timer first or if you are feeling really unambitious use an Arduino.
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Offline Rerouter

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Re: Good projects for beginners?
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2013, 07:53:30 am »
for the simple start you can use a 555 timer and 2 integrators (one gives you triangle, the other an approximate sine) but you will see amplitude drop as frequency increases

or one step up is an XR2206 chip, and you can still get them from a few places, this does most of the work for you but has to use range switches for large spans

then skip a few steps and you'll be up to where i am, using an arduino and an AD9850 chip to give square and sine from millihertz to megahertz with the analog side simply to buffer and amplify the signal,
 

Offline M0BSW

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Re: Good projects for beginners?
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2013, 07:45:14 pm »
for the simple start you can use a 555 timer and 2 integrators (one gives you triangle, the other an approximate sine) but you will see amplitude drop as frequency increases

or one step up is an XR2206 chip, and you can still get them from a few places, this does most of the work for you but has to use range switches for large spans

then skip a few steps and you'll be up to where i am, using an arduino and an AD9850 chip to give square and sine from millihertz to megahertz with the analog side simply to buffer and amplify the signal,
XR2206 chip is still available in on the UK E-bay site cheaply
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Offline mrkev

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Re: Good projects for beginners?
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2013, 08:37:36 pm »
for the simple start you can use a 555 timer and 2 integrators (one gives you triangle, the other an approximate sine) but you will see amplitude drop as frequency increases

or one step up is an XR2206 chip, and you can still get them from a few places, this does most of the work for you but has to use range switches for large spans

then skip a few steps and you'll be up to where i am, using an arduino and an AD9850 chip to give square and sine from millihertz to megahertz with the analog side simply to buffer and amplify the signal,
XR2206 chip is still available in on the UK E-bay site cheaply
Huh. It's not that long ago that they were in every store. What the hell happened? I was gonna use it in one project that I have planned for a long long time... >:(
It's a great chip with huge pottencial. I made a sin/square gen when I was young but used just a small part of what can this sucer do...
 

Offline mrkev

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Re: Good projects for beginners?
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2013, 08:49:26 pm »
hey guys, I was wondering what kind of projects would be good for a beginner hobbyist? I have already converted an ATX Power supply to lab bench one, so what would you see as the next step? I was thinking a function generator maybe? one that outputs sine, square. and triangle wave?

Thanks :)
It always depends on what you wanna do in future. I would definitely recomend you to build your own tools. The very best way how to learn about stuff is to (even try to) make it... Function generator is a great thing for start, just look around the internet, you will find many interesting schematics and stuff. XR2206 (as mentioned) is one of the easiest paths. You will just need swich, capacitors and pot...
When I was starting, I've build my own multimeter (better than lessons in measurment at university...), function generator, log. counter, power supply, digital oscilloscope (gave the SRAMS from my old pentium one new purpouse), programmers, regulation for soldering pen, rlcg metter and others...
 

Offline mkpak93

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Re: Good projects for beginners?
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2013, 12:44:19 am »
And how long does it take to be good at it? Or does it depend on the amount of passion and dedication, for example like the time spent on learning guitar?
 

Offline deth502

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Re: Good projects for beginners?
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2013, 01:04:13 am »
function gen, as was mentioned, if your into audio stuff, a signal injector/tracer is an easy one to get your feet wet. you can never have too many power supplies, you can build a linear supply from scratch, and get as simple or complicated as you want.

what are you into? if you do some projects that you can use in other areas, it will help you keep focus/intrest. if your into cars, look for things like fuel injector tester/drivers, ect..  im currently working on a simple design for a shot timer. if tis something you get excited about, its much easier to keep interest
 

Offline Rerouter

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Re: Good projects for beginners?
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2013, 01:18:51 am »
also there is no clearly define time frame to be good at this, everyone wants to know different things to build different devices,

you can learn how to make a transistor or op amp oscillator in under an hour, and in 2 days work out the quirks and limitations, but then the moment you want to modify it you have to learn new things and your collective knowledge grows :)

as with all hobby projects, making something for a purpose or desire help you learn much faster,
 

Offline M0BSW

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Re: Good projects for beginners?
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2013, 05:51:02 pm »
And how long does it take to be good at it? Or does it depend on the amount of passion and dedication, for example like the time spent on learning guitar?

function gen, as was mentioned, if your into audio stuff, a signal injector/tracer is an easy one to get your feet wet. you can never have too many power supplies, you can build a linear supply from scratch, and get as simple or complicated as you want.

what are you into? if you do some projects that you can use in other areas, it will help you keep focus/intrest. if your into cars, look for things like fuel injector tester/drivers, ect..  im currently working on a simple design for a shot timer. if tis something you get excited about, its much easier to keep interest
No time limit, you learn something then you hit a brick wall, then you figure that out and carry on, but every time you get a knock back the easier you find away around it, it really depends on you , and how much you enjoy it.  in a strange way if I build something , I am slightly disappointed if it works straight off, debugging is good fun too, plus you learn something, I know fellow Radio amateurs who couldn't change a fuse, cheque book amateurs buy everything, on the other hand there are radio amateurs like me, got to build it learn it  use it :-+
« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 05:54:11 pm by M0BSW »
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Offline henson

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Re: Good projects for beginners?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2014, 01:57:58 am »
Having an ATX power supply is nice to have around the lab, but you may want a little cleaner (less noise) linear variable power supply. There are some great tutorials on the net for building an LM317 based regulated supply. I also found working on Dave's constant current dummy load a worthy beginners circuit, and very useful as well.
 


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